Sunday, February 12, 2006

RIP J Dilla

Big news just isn't the same in Australia, apparently.

According to the muted reports emanating from the United States (like the one at the Detroit Free Press, respected and hugely talented hip-hop producer J Dilla, or Jay Dee as he is also known, died yesterday of kidney failure, aged only 32.

The artist had recently released another album to add to his prolific back catalogue. Though not necessarily well known in Australia, the album - ostensibly a mix-tape of his beats and blues-infused instrumentals - received at least one positive review in these parts.

All searches through the Saturday and Sunday newspapers looking for news of the seemingly tragic death were met with nought however - unless my brain was only in first-gear (which at five a.m. is quite often the case). Still, I shouldn't be too surprised at the muted response - even the murder of hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay a couple of years ago barely raised an eyebrow in Australian presses.

Nonetheless, the death of another young star of the American hip-hop scene shouldn't be forgotten before it's even been acknowledged, and Dilla was truly a talent of the scene. If there's one positive to be taken from his death, perhaps it's the fact that at least it wasn't gang related.

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